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Author Topic: exercises for learning the basses?  (Read 2252 times)

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tedrick

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exercises for learning the basses?
« on: June 18, 2009, 05:49:33 PM »

Hi All -
I really appreciate this forum - I am a beginner b/c box player and am having a lot of fun learning irish session tunes, but I have been frustrated with figuring out the left hand basses.

I can throw the random d chord in there at sustained notes but no real semblance to an accompaniment.

Could anyone suggest an exercise that would help me get a feel for the locations of the chords and basses? Kind of like a scale exercise? I'm thinking if I approach the left hand just like a beginner approaches the right hand melody when beginning, I could possibly start to get a feel and an ear for where the notes are...

Thanks,
Ted
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 05:52:19 PM by tedrick »
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george garside

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 09:12:37 PM »

to answer this question we need to know what tuning you are playing i.e. is it a Dg or other 4th aprt box or a BC as the answer will be quite different as indeed it will be if you have found a box with stradella bass.

george
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author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

Skipy

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 10:34:20 PM »

Hi All -
....... I am a beginner b/c box player.......

Thanks,
Ted

I'm really hoping that I'm not wrong here George but isn't Ted saying he's playing B/C?

Even so Ted, can you let George know more about your box regarding how many bass/chord buttons it has and how they are laid out?

Skipy
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Saltarelle Solstice 12 B/C/C#, Hohner Trichord III B/C/C#. 

I can't imagine life without my melodeons!

tedrick

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 03:06:04 PM »

Hi Guys --
Thanks for your replies -- yes, this is on a B/C box with the modern bass layout --

I took a lesson last night with Paddy O'Brien in St. Paul MN and he showed me a neat exercise where he played a c scale with an accompanying bass note for each note of the scale -- I have it recorded and am going to work it up -- I'll post the sequence when I figure it out --

Paddy also showed me how to start incorporating the basses with a march.

Hopefully once I start to get a feel and an ear for where the basses are I can start to throw them in.

Any other recommendations or suggestions for how to begin using the basses is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Ted
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george garside

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 04:04:22 PM »

Hi Guys --
Thanks for your replies -- yes, this is on a B/C box with the modern bass layout --

I took a lesson last night with Paddy O'Brien in St. Paul MN and he showed me a neat exercise where he played a c scale with an accompanying bass note for each note of the scale -- I have it recorded and am going to work it up -- I'll post the sequence when I figure it out --

Paddy also showed me how to start incorporating the basses with a march.

Hopefully once I start to get a feel and an ear for where the basses are I can start to throw them in.

Any other recommendations or suggestions for how to begin using the basses is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Ted

The problem comes when you want to play in any other  key than c.  Many Bc players totally ignore the bass & treat it as a melody instrument.  The bass can be used to ornement treble notes here & there & its a question of learning  which bass notes  harmonise with which treble notes bearing in mind that the bellows direction  has to be chosen to suite the treble note which severely  restricts the choice of bass note available on an 8 bass box.  You then, using split second timing give a quick blast on the appropriate bass note- quick being the important thing as if you do it for too long you will be onto another treble note that won't harmonise.The way not to use the bass is to steadily tap out an um pah rhythm & hope for the best that most of it will harmonise with the treble - it won't!

george

george
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author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

tedrick

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 06:21:06 PM »

Yes - I see what you mean -- I'm just trying to the simple bass style in the pattern of Tony MacMahon or Joe Burke - ie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erbFXptMpD4
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tedrick

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 01:09:43 PM »

I've been making some progress on learning the left hand basses.

For a long time I didn't even know what the notes were on my left side -- I was too lazy to memorize the notes.

I have found sitting down and looking at the keyboard chart, orienting the chart so it is the same direction as your basses and then playing the basses in the manner of a scale helps.

So for a C scale just going up and down the basses, playing an A for F and a G for B -- you've got something that sounds recognizable --

Then add the right hand - play the C scale with the trebles and the C scale on the bass chords and you start getting a sense of how the left and right sides work together...

Then start a bass/chord (ala simple ohm-pa) pattern on the bass side and you've got something that almost sounds like an accompanyment with your C scale -- ie do, re, mi, fa on the trebles and ohm-pa/ohm-pa on the left side --

All of this to hopefully someday not have to answer the button box player's favorite question: "and what are those buttons on that side for?"
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waltzman

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 01:49:18 PM »

I've been making some progress on learning the left hand basses.

For a long time I didn't even know what the notes were on my left side -- I was too lazy to memorize the notes.

I have found sitting down and looking at the keyboard chart, orienting the chart so it is the same direction as your basses and then playing the basses in the manner of a scale helps.

So for a C scale just going up and down the basses, playing an A for F and a G for B -- you've got something that sounds recognizable --

Then add the right hand - play the C scale with the trebles and the C scale on the bass chords and you start getting a sense of how the left and right sides work together...

Then start a bass/chord (ala simple ohm-pa) pattern on the bass side and you've got something that almost sounds like an accompanyment with your C scale -- ie do, re, mi, fa on the trebles and ohm-pa/ohm-pa on the left side --

All of this to hopefully someday not have to answer the button box player's favorite question: "and what are those buttons on that side for?"


For irish tunes why wouldn't you start with the much more useful D scale?
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tedrick

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Re: exercises for learning the basses?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 08:55:28 PM »

good idea - so for D you would go:

rh) D E F# G A B C# D
Lh) D E D G A G A D

D for F#
G for B
A for C#

Does this look right?

edit:
correction on F#
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 05:21:15 AM by tedrick »
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